Dirk Froehling may be able to advise those interested in ordering and/or obtaining
information on the newly available (custom order) Number Cruncher (NC) card from
Andres Schmidt. Please note Dirk Froehlings email address follows.


See references below - for current Usenet comments on the; FP, FPU and NC

(1) "Andreas Schmidt's Number Cruncher are both real coprocs that get their jobs
done. The FPE is suffering from a major problem, namely the coproc is crashing
internally and has to be reset in software. This happens in a non deterministic
way, and software written for that engineering junk must be adapted to that. :-)
The Number Cruncher is compatible with the FPE but is actually what the FPE was
supposed to be - a math coproc that works. It perfoms very well.

Applied Engineering once made a coproc. PULL IT FAST! this little card is only
sucking power. It's of so limited use that it would make a tremendous doorstop.
Actually, I have done some testing with it and found it would not accelerate math
on a IIgs (*compared with SANE).

Most software will profit from the FPE or Number Cruncher via the software
patches. A few software titles including one weird math application communicate
with the coproc directly which can result in a 10% gain..."

(2) "Depends on what software you installed. If this is the original FPE and you
have the SANE patch installed (more on that later), then all programs that do
floating-point through SANE will be accelerated. The original FPE has a few bugs
in hardware, though, and the SANE patch is also buggy. If you have the NC
(NumberCruncher) card, then the hardware bugs are gone, the SANE patch is the
same as for the FPE, though. If it's some other card, I don't think it will
accelerate much.

Regarding bugs: I don't know _which_ bugs the FPE had exactly, I just know there
were some (one was suceptibility to heat). The problem of a buggy SANE patch will
go away shortly, one guy whom I won't name yet (he can do that himself) has
rewritten the patch to be free of all known bugs.

There are also a few programs that access the FPCP (Floating Point Co-Processor)
directly, must notably GSymbolix (Eureka!, now), which is an _excellent_ maths

(3) "It depends exactly which card it is. If it is a "Number Cruncher" or an
Innovative Systems "FPE" card (both of which use the Motorola 68881
FPU), then any program which uses the IIgs SANE toolset (Standard Apple
Numerics Environment) will be able to automatically make use of the
card, PROVIDED you have the necessary patch software installed.

This produces a reasonable speed improvement in floating point
calculations. For a considerable increase in speed, some programs are
written to use the card directly (avoiding the overhead of calling
SANE). ORCA/C and ORCA/Pascal include support for this (a special
version of the program must be compiled, and it won't work if the card
is not present).

In theory, the card could also be used by programs which use the 8-bit
implementation of SANE (e.g. the AppleWorks Spreadsheet module). This
would require specific patches for each such application.

Applesoft BASIC doesn't use SANE, and will not use the card (unless a
program is specially written to use it, which would require machine
language support, and probably wouldn't be worth the effort, since you'd
have to keep converting floating point numbers between SANE and
Applesoft formats).

If the card is not either of these types, then I don't know what the
situation is regarding software that supports it."


References; See Usenet Newgroup articles listed below.

Subject: Re: Math co-processor? What a heck?!
From: GUDATH@EZINFO.VMSMAIL.ETHZ.CH (Henrik 'Ratte' Gudat)
Date: 1997/01/25
Message-Id: <5cdem0$>
Distribution: world
X-News-Reader: VMS NEWS 1.24
References: <5ca1kn$>
Organization: Synergetix
Newsgroups: comp.sys.apple2

Subject: Re: Math co-processor? What a heck?!
From: (Sönke Behrens)
Date: 1997/01/25
Message-Id: <>
References: <5ca1kn$>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-Ascii
Organization: Customer of EUnet Germany; Info:
Mime-Version: 1.0
Newsgroups: comp.sys.apple2

Subject: Re: Math co-processor? What a heck?!
From: (David Empson)
Date: 1997/01/25
Message-Id: <>
Distribution: inet
References: <5ca1kn$>
Organization: Empsoft
Newsgroups comp.sys.apple2